Medical notes

Observation from the medical community:

If a single virus caused all the deaths, all the birth defects, and all the health care costs that tobacco does, governments all over the planet would move to find the virus, then find a vaccination or a cure. But tobacco is an important cash crop. Through huge campaign contributions and other outlays of money, the tobacco industry influences our government. Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death in America, yet our government subsidizes its cultivation.
Klag, Michael J., et al. Johns Hopkins Family Health Book. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1999. 79.


Found poem in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

Even as the end approaches,
heart failure is characterized
by wide excursion
between good and bad days,
often preserving hope for another good day
until the last.
Uncertainty regarding time
and mode of death exceeds that
for other terminal illnesses.
Even our predictions of imminent death
are patches of fog, from which
survivors can emerge unexpectedly.
Each patient travels a unique journey,
on which many share remarkable determination
to prevail.
As we embolden our patients
to understand and influence their course,
as we appreciate their individual preferences
for quality and length of life,
we will guide each other
through the changing management
of advanced heart failure.

JAMA, Feb 6, 2002--Vol 287, No. 5, p. 639--last paragraph in "Medical Management of Advanced Heart Failure," by Anju Nohria et al.

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